Central Okanagan  

Flu vaccine in short supply

UPDATE 11:15 A.M JAN 9:

Bayshore Home Health has 60 flu vaccines remaining.  $15 per vaccination.  Drop-ins welcome but nurse not always available.  Best to call ahead at 250-717-7528 to ensure registered nurse on site at 105 -1664 Richter Street, Kelowna.

UPDATE 1:45 P.M. Jan 8:

Pharmasave on Lakeshore Road has just informed Castanet that they are entirely out of the flu shot and will not be having the planned clinics over the next three days.

After our article was posted yesterday all of the shots they had left were called and reserved within minutes.

We have also received the numbers for the Superstore locations in Vernon and Kamloops.

  • Vernon is out at the moment.
  • Kamloops Superstore has about 55 as of now
  • Kamloops Extra Foods has about 15 as of now

UPDATE 11:00 A.M. Jan 8:

Superstore locations in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Penticton do currently have some flu shots that are available on a first come first serve basis.

According to Matthew Kootnikoff, Director of Pharmacy Operations BC for Loblaws (Superstore) their local stores have the following supply:

  • Kelowna Superstore Pharmacy has about 40 shots on hand as of now.
  • Kelowna Extra Foods Pharmacy has about 30 shots on hand as of now.
  • West Kelowna Superstore Pharmacy has about 20 shots on hand as of now.
  • Penticton Superstore Pharmacy has several shots on hand.

Superstore has also been getting many calls about their clinics this coming Friday.

Kootnikoff wants Okanagan residents to know that the West Kelowna and Kelowna locations will be getting between 100-200 flu shots between the stores.

The shots will then be distributed on a first come first serve basis at the clinics, appointments cannot be made.

Those clinics are running Friday Jan 10 from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. in Kelowna and 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. in West Kelowna.

Pharmasave on Lakeshore in Kelowna is also holding clinics this week Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Interior Health is saying you should get your flu shot and protect yourself, after the recent death of an Okanagan woman from H1N1, but there is a problem, many pharmacies are out.

Castanet has spoken with over a dozen pharmacies in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country, Penticton and Vernon and they all had the same story, we don't have any more flu shots, with a few exceptions.

The Real Canadian Superstore in West Kelowna and Kelowna is currently out of flu shots but have some coming in for the flu shot clinics they are holding on Friday Jan 10 from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. in Kelowna and 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. in West Kelowna.

Pharmacies in the South Okanagan appear to be faring better as London Drugs in Penticton says they still have an ample supply of the flu serum - as does the Medicine Centre in Summerland who says they still have a large supply.

A few pharmacies noted that they have some of the $20 shots left but the rest have empty shelves as they wait for more to be sent from Interior Health.

Given the short supply and panic regarding the flu spread pharmacies are recommending you call ahead to ask if they have any left.

The Rutland Health Centre says its does have some left and that they are holding an upcoming Jan 24 flu shot clinic which is filling up fast.

Several local clinics and physicians still have a full supply and are suggesting the best course of action is to call your own family doctor or clinic to see if you can get the shot from them.

Information that Interior Health is confirming; Communications Officer Leslie Coates says Interior Health is recommending that you call your physician to try to find a flu shot given the short supply at pharmacies.

The following pharmacies Castanet spoke to have no free flu shots left, but may have a limited quantity of paid for flu shots if you call in advance.

  • Shoppers Drug Mart's are out including;
    • Bernard Avenue, Kelowna
    • Orchard Park Mall, Kelowna
    • Glenmore, Kelowna
    • Lake Country
    • West Kelowna
    • Vernon
  • Windfield IDA is out
  • London Drugs is out including;
    • Spall Plaza, Kelowna
    • Vernon
    • West Kelowna
  • Rexall Kelowna is out
  • Walmart Kelowna is out
  • Safeway Kelowna on Bernard Avenue has a handful of paid for flu shots left
  • Peach City Medical Clinic is out
  • Penticton Urgent Care Clinic is out
  • Pharmasave on Lakeshore in Kelowna has approximately 70 paid for flu shots left
  • Pharmasave in Glenmore is out

Several of the pharmacies listed above did say that they are expecting a new shipment to come in next week and advise that you call them in advance before heading to the pharmacy.

Castanet invites pharmacies and clinics to advise when the flu vaccination is in short supply by email [email protected]


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More Central Okanagan articles